Money Saving Tips

How to Save Money in 10 Steps

How to Save Money in 10 Steps
Written by Oana Schneider

Why do you think a lot of people complain about not having enough money? Not everyone might have the opportunity to earn millions of dollars per year, but if you have a job, you do have the means to survive. The challenge lies in managing your finances in such a way that you don’t have to live on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis, or subsist on debts because you are overusing your credit cards.

Another challenge is not giving up the little luxuries in life while still having all the basic necessities that you need. So how can you create that delicate balance between earning and spending so that you can juggle your finances? It’s all about learning how to budget your money so that you can spend less and save more. If you want to find out how to save money, keep reading! Plus, have you heard of services like Billcutterz.com? They cut your bills in half, so you might be interested!

Do not fall into the trap of spending more than what you are actually earning just so that you can support the lifestyle that you’re used to. Nobody wants to live like a pauper but if you know how to budget, you don’t necessarily have to give up life’s little luxuries just so that you can save money. The key is to live below or within your means. This way, you would not have to go neck-deep in debt simply to support a more affluent lifestyle than what you can actually afford based on your salary. After all, finding out how to save money gets almost 50% of the job done!

How to Save Money Efficiently? We Have the Recipe!

Now, if you would like to start really saving more and spending less, how can you meet the challenge if you are an impulsive buyer? With the following commandments on how to save more and spend less, you can manage your finances in such a way that you can buy everything you need – though not necessarily everything you want – and still live a quite comfortable lifestyle.
Take a look at our top ten commandments for how to save money:

1. Rules to Saving Money – Thou shall master the ’30-day rule’

If you want to know how to save money, you better start reading. When going shopping, are you the type to impulsively buy stuff or do you take your time before deciding whether an item is worth your hard-earned bucks or not? If you’re an impulsive buyer, this commandment is definitely for you.

So what does the 30-day rule entail? Let’s say that you saw a gorgeous designer dress on a mannequin in your favorite store’s display window. You don’t have any occasion to wear the dress to, but you can save it up for the future.

With the 30-day rule, you would willingly wait for thirty days before buying the dress. After a month, go back to the store and ask yourself if you still want to buy that item. More often than not, the impulse to buy goes away if you wait it out.

This rule can apply not just to clothes, but also for other items which fall under the category of ‘wants’ instead of needs. Plus, when you start looking up how to save money, make sure you are really determined to do this, because it’s no easy task. 

2. Thou shall lend and borrow

When people ask you how to save money, always tell them that being a good neighbor helps a lot. If you have a power tool which you used only once, won’t you lend it to a neighbor or a relative who also needs to use it for just a day or two? Instead of buying such pricey items, it is better to borrow or even rent them for a minimal fee. This just goes to show how important it is to be willing to lend and borrow. You will be saving a lot of money in the process, making friends along the way, and helping out those who are in need of a quick favor.

Aside from power tools, you can lend and borrow books; toys; gadgets which are not in use anymore; exercise equipment; and similar items. If you would like to de-clutter your life, you can get rid of these items as well by selling them online or at a garage sale, or trading the items with what someone else has.

3. Thou shall go back to the tradition of bartering

How to save money? Easy! It may not be called bartering anymore, but the process of exchanging goods or services instead of money still occurs. In business, for example, a printing company may offer free printing services to an advertising company who will in turn create an ad campaign for them.

At home, you can barter babysitting services with your sister-in-law who also has a baby. If you have a friend who’s a graphic designer, trade your own talent or service for a free logo design. The service or goods doesn’t even have to be work-related – even something as simple as the task of helping you move or paint the house can be bartered.

How to Save Money in 10 Steps

Barter Partnership

4. Thou shall eat out less

Whether you’re single or living with the family, most of your monthly budget will go towards eating out. This is especially true if you don’t like cooking. There’s absolutely nothing wrong in trying out new restaurants every now and then but if you do it often, the bills do add up.

Instead of eating out as a group, invite friends for potluck dinners where each individual or family will contribute something for the meal – it could be an entree, dessert, appetizers or even cheap steak cuts to grill. This is not just less expensive, but also more fun for everyone involved. You can also cook at home more often.

Use coupons or vouchers for grocery items that you often buy. Planning a weekly menu and taking advantage of what the local farmers have to offer in terms of produce will also greatly decrease your food-related expenses. How to save money depends a lot on how determined you are.

5. Thou shall surround one’s self with like-minded individuals

Again, saving money is all about living within or below your means. If you’re an average earner but you surround yourself with individuals who spend hundreds of dollars per week on food and drinks when going out, you are not necessarily doing yourself any favors. You don’t necessarily have to ditch your friends just because they have a more comfortable lifestyle or a higher income than you.

But be realistic and honest about what you can and cannot afford to spend when going out. If you speak out, you might be surprised at how many other friends actually feel the same way that you do when it comes to the issue of spending money. Plus, you may want to ask your friends how to save money: although it doesn’t seem like it, everybody saves money!

6. Thou shall enjoy more free things

Go out for runs instead of paying for pricey gym memberships. Instead of going to a DVD rental shop, visit your local library. There, you can borrow DVDs, e-books, music and physical books for free. Brownbag your lunch instead of buying from a convenience store or a nearby deli. Brew your own coffee rather than always buying fancy lattes from coffee shops. There are so many things that you can enjoy for free if you’ll only open your mind to the idea of it.

How to Save Money in 10 Steps

Save Money at Your Local Library!

7. Thou shall be a wise driver

There are some states where you cannot get by without your own car, but there are also places where it’s more convenient to take public transportation. If you must drive yourself to and from work, consider carpooling with a neighbor or an office colleague to save on gas. When filling up the tank, check out websites like GasBuddy.com or download apps that let you compare the prices of gas from different gas stations.

When running errands, plan your route and do as many tasks as possible so that you can save money on gas. There are many ways for you to save money when it comes to driving and car maintenance, so be aware of exactly what they are. Learn how to save money by making use of all your skills!

8. Thou shall be a wise shopper

How to save money when you really need to buy something? Tricky, isn’t it? When buying clothes, look for ones which do not need ironing or dry cleaning. You won’t believe how much people actually spend on dry cleaning bills – when there are plenty of other fabric alternatives that only require hand washing. If you have a big family, buy supplies in bulk.

You can also concoct your own household cleaning supplies to save money instead of always relying on what you can buy from the store. If you must use coupons, make sure that they are only for the items that you would be buying in the first place. Saving $10 on an item that you would not usually buy does not make you save that amount, it actually makes you spend more.

9. Thou shall not envy what the neighbor has

Keeping up with the Joneses is yet another financial trap that a lot of people fall into. Instead of coveting or envying what the neighbor has, be satisfied with what you can buy using your own money. Live up to your own expectations instead of always minding what other people have to say about you. Learning how to save money will also make you a better person!

10. Thou shall find happiness, not in spending, but in life

Finally, look for the cheap, free yet fulfilling things that can bring you happiness in life. Satisfaction and happiness cannot be found by simply accumulating possessions or buying material things. Most of the time, it’s the little things that do count. Spend more time with your kids instead of always buying them stuff. Give yourself some much-needed break instead of working from sun-up to sundown.

Believe that you don’t always have to own the latest gadget, car, shoes or other material things. By focusing more on what you can get out of life instead of thinking about what you should buy next, you can worry less about the money and find happiness in the process. These 10 little ways teach you how to save money, but you can come up with many other techniques. Get as creative as you can!

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for DontPayFull.com as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.

8 Comments

  • Eating out more or less won’t always impact your budget, depending on what you prefer to prepare or eat out. I actually spend more by preparing food from home when you factor in the ingredients I choose plus the time I spend in the kitchen instead of working on something profitable. Otherwise, these are some strong tips that everyone could benefit from following.

  • I think you’re right about eating out less, and that is something that I am trying to deal with myself at the moment. Even if you go out for the cheapest meal possible, it still isn’t as cheap as the types of things that I will cook for myself at home. I do like going out though, because it feels as though the food is always nicer, and sometimes it’s just great to not have to cook.

    I like the 30 day rule as well, though I think that often 2 days is enough for me to realise that I don’t need the things any more. I always return things that I have bought on impulse online, because by the time they arrive I have completely gone off the idea, and no longer feel as though it is something that I really need at all.

  • Great article Oana, when you break things down like this, it makes cutting back seem like fun! We certainly do not have to deprive ourselves in order to save money, it’s just a case of developing new habits to ensure you get the same thing, but for less.

    • It is not a good idea to cut back on yourself entirely. We are supposed to enjoy life, but within the means we can do so. We can first live within that mean and then try to expand it later on.

      The savings tips are helpful in this regard. Number ten is a good tip.

  • These are true and tested ways to save cash. I don’t buy much of anything unless I actually need it. I very rarely go on a spending spree on myself, this includes eating out also. We rarely eat out. I am happy with doing things that way.

  • I need to master two things here:
    1. Thou shall eat out less
    I have the penchant to simply eat out when I am too lazy to cook my own food. On my personal budget review, it is starting to fill a greater part of my budget. I am now finding places that are cheaper, but with good quality food if the need to eat out hits me. There is one near my apartment, which I can now frequent instead of restaurants.
    2. The 30-day rule
    I can be impulsive, and this one will help me overcome it. Plus leaving my credit card home would ensure I stick to this.

  • I found these tips quite humorous, while they were very useful as well. The style of how they were written in old English really cracked me up. The thirty day rule really is something I would like to test out, and will be something I will definitely be attempting.

  • I’m an impulse buyer for convenience. This happens to be a total budget buster and something I’ve worked on since creating my budget. Society has become an “I want it and I want it now” type mentality. We often want instant results in financial matters, weight loss and the things we see that we just have to have. When I created my budget and saw how much waste was occurring impulse buying was greatly reduced.

    The wise shopper tip is also one I will be applying by making a list of needed items before I arrive at the grocery store. I will soon be adding coupons to the mix and my grocery budget will greatly be reduced.

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